Could a Functional Garden Improve Your Property Values?

Anything that we can do to improve the value of our homes is a really good thing. The rush that we get touching up our homes and turning them into something that we can be even more proud to call our own is amazing. But there are little projects that can turn into big investments for your home. One of them that we’ll discuss today would have to be a functional garden. Now, we’re not just talking about a lot of flowers, even though flowers are extremely important. Without flowering plants, bees have no food source and therefore can’t make the honey they thrive on. We need bees in order to keep the food cycle going.

So, the garden that we want to build should have more function than just flowers. Growing a “salsa” garden will give you peppers, tomatoes, herbs, and onions. These are all things that go great into a salsa, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stop there. What if you wanted to focus on salad greens as a way of supplementing your groceries? You could do both of these in a garden, if you have enough space.

Building a great garden

Building a great garden takes time, planning, and resources. This is even more the case when you want to build something functional. For example, do you know what plants you’re going to buy? Even if you have a list, it goes deeper than that. Some plants need full sun, while others need partial shade. You need to buy plants that match your gardening zone for best results.

Drainage is going to be another issue that you’ll need to tackle right away. Every plant has a different need for drainage. In other words, it’s all about how packed the soil is. Some plants thrive on a tightly packed soil, while other plants really need room for their roots to branch out without hitting hard packed dirt. You’ll need to do your research on what setup will work best for you.

Watering is going to be another issue. If you’re somewhere that has drought regulations, you’ll need to abide by those. But there are people that grow food in drought-stricken conditions all the time. The path that you’re about to embark upon isn’t new, so you should find that comforting. Many plants need a lot of water to grow. If you’re on a budget, you’ll need to adjust your water bill accordingly, or start collecting rainwater. [Read more…]

3 Tips for Drought Friendly Landscaping

Drought conditions are still raging through California and other places around the country. Surely there’s a way to balance the need to conserve water and the need to have a well kept outdoor landscaping scene, right? Well, there are plenty of ways that you can make the great outdoors really stand out. Below are the tips you need to take these ideas from just thoughts on paper to a vibrant landscape you’ll love.

Drought Friendly Landscaping

1. Switch to Gravel

Gravel doesn’t require the water that grass does, leaving you free to use that water elsewhere. Conservation standards require that we all make sacrifices. Who needs a bed of green grass when having water is far more important? You can also spice up the gravel with stone steps that lead up to the porch.

2. Potted Plants

Potted plants are just as good looking as their planted in the soil cousins, and they’re better for drought conditions. They also require a lot less water than when you have a garden bed to deal with. If you want to change out your plants regularly, you can always do that as well. It’s important to make sure that you are looking at all of your choices when it comes to choosing the best plants. Even though they will be in pots, it’s still wise to get drought-resistant plants that reflect the surrounding environment.

3. Increase Greywater Usage

What is greywater? It’s the water used in showers, baths, and sinks. It’s also used to clean clothes with the washer, and it’s important that we don’t waste greywater. There are many uses for it in the garden, and it’s a great way to get extra usage out of water that would otherwise be thrown out. Some people choose to have their house re-routed so it can save greywater, but if you’re not in the market for those repairs then you might just want to collect buckets of greywater in the shower and bath when you’re all done. Just letting the water run down the drain doesn’t help matters, you know.

Drought tolerant Landscaping

4. Invest in Awnings

One of the things that will truly affect how you enjoy the outdoors is whether or not you can stay cool. If you have no shade outside but you can’t plant anything tall enough to cover you, why not look at awnings? They are less expensive than they used to be and they extend out quite a ways from their post. Once installed, they can last a lifetime. [Read more…]